Small Business ERP-Searching for ERP software can be a daunting (and expensive) process, one that requires long hours of research and deep pockets. The most popular ERP systems often provide more than what’s necessary for non-enterprise organizations, with advanced functionality relevant to only the most technically savvy users. This makes it very hard for small businesses to get an idea of affordability. When you go digging and the rates that pop up way over your budget, it feels like ERP systems are just too out of range for small businesses. Can your small business afford an ERP? Luckily, there are alternatives.
Free Open Source ERP Solutions
In this article we examine free and open source ERP software, first by providing a brief overview of what to expect and also with short blurbs about each of the currently available options in the space. This is the most complete and up-to-date directory on the web.
Calculating Total Cost of Ownership
Nothing has a more significant impact on the long-term success or failure of your ERP system than the quality of ERP implementation. Done well, you’re more likely to experience a greater ROI in a lot less time. If the implementation process was poorly executed, you could waste a lot of time and money without ever seeing any advantages. That being said, you need to evaluate the total cost of ownership (TCO) for your chosen ERP. It’s this figure that you need to budget for and to measure your ROI against.
Helen Peatfield, feature writer for ERP Today, suggests taking into considerations these four main factors influencing small business ERP costs:
When it comes time to choosing an ERP system, the most important question to ask yourself is whether to deploy an on-premise system or a cloud ERP solution. Cloud ERP is provided as a service that does not have to be managed or serviced by your IT staff. With this type of deployment, a company’s ERP software and its associated data and information are managed centrally (in the Internet “cloud”) by the ERP software vendor and are accessed by customers using a web browser.
On-premise ERP solutions are installed locally on your company’s hardware and servers, then managed by your IT staff. They usually require large upfront and ongoing investments to purchase and manage the software and the related hardware and facilities necessary to run it.